PARALYMPIC ATHLETE VISITS GREENBANK
Denton based Paralympic silver medallist Michael Churm told the tireless toddlers at Greenbank Preparatory School to enjoy sport. Michael 36, was speaking on a fundraising day organised by Sport for Schools in which the young pupils at Greenbank Preparatory School an independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme took part in a series of exercises as part of a sponsored circuit.
Born with cerebral palsy affecting his right side, Michael became one of this country's finest ever Paralympic sprinters after developing a passion for track running at East Cheshire Harriers and Chorley AC.
He said “I found a sport I absolutely loved and therefore enjoyed every second of all the hard work I needed to do to become one of the best in the world. The first thing you must do is find a sport or an activity that you really really enjoy and that makes all the training and hard work much easier and like me you never know what will happen.”
Michael competed at both Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Paralympics in the T37 individual class and the T35 -T38 relay class and now among many different projects works with children the length and breadth of the country.
He said “When I started the Paralympics was an afterthought really. We were lucky if we got an hour a night off peak on television, but now just 15 years later we have virtual parity; are invited to the same training camps and have global superstars such as Johnny Peacock as role models.”
However he warned “We still need to raise awareness about the neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy where sometimes some people cannot see any disability and wonder what all the fuss is about.”
Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Michael's message about sheer joyfulness and an indomitable human spirit really touched our children's hearts and helped us in our mission as teachers to inspire the next generation.”
Michael Churm is pictured with sportivator Tony Bird from Schools for Sports and Greenbank Year One pupils Henry and Harriet.